Review of Up (2009)

10 Nov

Up (2009) is a computer-animated adventure/drama/comedy film, which is to date the third highest grossing PIXAR films, only behind Finding Nemo and Toy Story 3.

Directed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc. (2001), Mike’s New Car (2002 Short)) and this is only his second feature-length movie.

Written by Bob Peterson (Finding Nemo (2003), Ratatouille (2007)), who also served as co-director and a voice actor in this and also Pete Docter (Toy Story (1995), WALL·E (2008)), so there’s CG animation guys all over this.

Starring: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson and others.

This is one of those movies that creates my distaste for the modern animation films. It is so sappy and pushy in the emotional department and at times utterly idiotic and unbalanced and I didn’t enjoy it at all.

It starts of with this story of a little boy, who’s a nerd for this explorer guy and then he meets this androgynous girl, so, as it happens to all about-6-year-olds, they, of course, fall in love, marry and live happily forever after. That is except that time when they were sad that they can’t have children and that other time when after Carl forces Ellie to climb a hill one too many times, she gets sick and dies. At this point it could seem like I just spoiled the whole plot, but no, that’s just the first 15 minutes, also known as the best part of the movie. Then it goes on to this stupid adventure story, which involves huge birds, talking dogs, an annoying kid and some unexplainable logic.

I think PIXAR should just stick with drawing animals because their artistic choice on the designs of the people really baffle me. Why the hell does the main character is the only person to have this huge, blocky head? I don’t seem to recall Spencer Tracy looking like that. Seriously, how come no one notices how horribly disfigured Carl is? It is not fun when the main character of an adventure-comedy is the Elephant Man.

Then there’s this fat, little asian kid, who looks like he’s suffering from Down’s syndrome and his obesity doesn’t make it more appealing. I really hated that kid, I identified with the blockhead only because he was annoyed by him as well. I just wished I could reach in and punch his oddly small face deeper into his irritating head. And I so despise this cliché film trope (e.g. Cop And A Half, Real Steel), where and adult at first doesn’t like a child/animal and by the end has become attached to it, basically a type of a buddy film.

Ed Astner was a good choice for the voice of Carl, others were ok, no stand outs.

I won’t say there weren’t any good jokes, I liked that prehistoric bird, especially when he swallows and then throws up the walker-cane, I also liked that they inserted that Pluto thing, which the dog does at one point. But then it does this stupid gag, when the main bad dog has a broken voice-box, which makes his voice very high-pitched, so the joke is that everything he says is not intimidating anymore and also it uses this idiotic joke, which is common in family films involving animals, the bird Kevin turns out to be a girl. Hilarious, right?

Every time when I saw the balloons attached to the house, I kept remembering that Mythbusters episode, where they fail to lift a child with a shitload of balloons, yeah, it’s a cartoon, I can forgive them not giving a shit about physics. But then there’s this concept children do understand – aging. I mean, how come that this guy that was an adult, when Carl was a toddler, now looks the same age if not younger than him?

I didn’t hate the movie, but also there was nothing I really liked about it. I guess I would recommend it to you if you have lost someone close to you and a movie about coming to terms with the death of a loved one would be something to identify with, otherwise, I don’t see any reason to see this film. PIXAR has done better.

Real tasteful, huh?

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